Interview with Mark Leckey

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For anyone who has found pleasure in the dancing, drinking, and melancholy of Mark Leckey’s collage films—or the witty lyrics of his bands, JackTooJack and the defunct donAteller—it was a surprise when the British press labeled his work esoteric and over-intellectualized following his receipt of the Turner Prize last year. Perhaps the work featured in the exhibition of nominees, Cinema in the Round, lost something in the translation from a performance to a gallery installation. Leckey’s staged lecture wove Felix the Cat, Philip Guston, and The Titanic into an idiosyncratic history of art and film. Mark Leckey in the Long Tail, a new talk that premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London earlier this year, takes the same approach and extends his argument into the twenty-first century, using examples and props to visualize how an internet-based economy has changed distribution, demand, and creativity. Its U.S. premiere, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, will take place at the Abron Arts Center on Oct. 1, 2, and 3. - Brian Droitcour

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Untitled (1974) - Mark Wilson

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Of course, there was certainly a long history of machines and technology inspiring 20th century artists. The path of geometry, technology, and art was in part formed by the late paintings of Kandinsky, Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, and the machine aesthetic of artists like Charles Sheeler and Gerald Murphy. I was also influenced by the work of artists who were currently involved with imagery of machines and technology. For example, I loved the graphics of the London-based avant-garde architectural group, Archigram, and the Pop Art prints and paintings of the Scottish artist, Eduardo Paolozzi. There were also contemporary collaborative experiments like E.A.T—Experiments in Art and Technology—at MOMA, and Art and Technology, an exhibition of collaborations between artists and engineers, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

-- FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST

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Interview with Hollis Frampton by Esther Harriott (1978)

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From the program "Conversations in the Arts" produced at the State University of New York at Buffalo. This video is a 2-part interview edited to one piece.

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Interview with Paul Sharits by Gerald O'Grady (1976)

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Paul Sharits Interviewed by Gerald O'Grady in 1976
From the series Film-Makers, WNED Buffalo.

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Interview with Erik Adigard

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Erik Adigard is a communication designer whose work stretches into domains as broad as identity systems, web sites, videos, visual essays, and book design, as well as documentary films and installations in art museums and exhibitions. With distillations of trends and ideas into visually arresting spreads and iconography, Adigard and his M.A.D. company partner Patricia McShane's work was a key element establishing Wired magazine's visual storytelling from its start in 1993. This last decade has seen Adigard nearly as involved in installations and art venues as he is with his admittedly broad design practice.

Adigard’s most recent public work was AirXY, for the 2008 Architecture Biennale in Venice, created with M.A.D. and Chris Salter. A multimedia installation with interactive animation, sensors, haze, light, and sound, AirXY explored space, architecture, media, and the human presence, extended by sensors and transformed by interfaces and networks. Its manifesto described the “de facto landscape of screens” and disembodied living and called for “re-materialization” that would unite “data and bodies.” It followed Dualterm, in which Adigard and Salter used a Toronto Airport Terminal as a mixed point of departure into a SecondLife 3D world, along with other, less virtual destinations.

Friends and sometime collaborators, we sat down in a San Francisco Mexican restaurant--in the midst of a blaring and lengthy Michael Jackson tribute--to talk about how his approach changes when working in the different modes of art and design. -John Alderman

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Interview with David Kraftsow

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Nam June Paik's "Global Groove" Played Through YooouuuTuuube

David Kraftsow is the artist and programmer behind the Featured Online Artwork for Internet Week YooouuuTuuube, which has been making a splash since it first launched just a few months ago. The site allows users to tile YouTube videos frame-by-frame, with options to resize the frames and even display them as a spiral. I recently spoke with David at greater length about his project. - Ceci Moss

How did you come up with the idea for YooouuuTuuube?

I had wanted to create a program that uses YouTube videos as source material for a long time. At first I didn't really have a very specific idea of how I wanted it to work. It wasn't until I finally sat down and started coding little experiments and prototypes--in order to see what could be done from a technical standpoint--that a final project idea started to emerge.

Have you worked on projects like this before?

Yes, a lot of small things. I wrote a lot of prototype programs that read from YouTube and displayed videos in different ways. I had a bunch of video players including one that selected random videos of tornados and one that played a looping fullscreen video of the game MYST. I also created a more complex version that played lots of assorted videos at the same time in a dynamic grid layout with cross-fading sounds.

What are some of your favorite uses of YooouuuTuuube so far?

- The video where someone figured out how to write Japanese characters is pretty rad: http://yooouuutuuube.com/v/?rows=24&cols;=960&id;=GE2wQNfMcjk&startZoom;=1&showVideo;=1

- This Norman McLaren video: http://yooouuutuuube.com/v/?rows=5&cols;=2880&id;=qJwfeG3Mntk

- This "Alice" video which is by an Australian musician named Pogo has been, by far, the ...

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Interview with InCUBATE

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InCUBATE storefront (Photo by Bryce Dwyer)

I first encountered InCUBATE’s work at Creative Time’s exhibition “Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory.” For the run of the show, this Chicago-based artist-run organization set up a temporary soup cafe in collaboration with artist Robin Hewlett and artist group Material Exchange. Visitors were invited to purchase soup, and these funds were then directed toward small grants to support art projects. The soup cafe was an extension of their ongoing project Sunday Soup, which offers monthly meals in their storefront space in order to fundraise money for individual artist’s projects. Sunday Soup is but one example of the alternative economic models put forth by InCUBATE’s varied activities and research. In a shaky economic climate, InCUBATE’s grassroots approach to arts funding propose useful solutions to enduring, and most likely, increasingly pressing obstacles. For our ongoing series dealing with contemporary art and the recession, I decided to interview InCUBATE (Abigail Satinsky, Bryce Dwyer, Roman Petruniak, and Matthew Joynt) about their activities. - Ceci Moss

What is InCUBATE and how did it begin?

InCUBATE stands for the Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday. We are an experimental research institute and artist residency program dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. Acting as curators, researchers and co-producers of artist's projects, our main focus has been to explore ways that artists, both historically and today, have incorporated models of resource allocation, community building, funding structures and forms of exchange as part of their artistic practice.

We originally came together while studying Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Given our desire to provoke a critical recognition of how art practices can better relate to alternative systems of economic and cultural exchange ...

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Turn On, Tune In, Zoom Out

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DREAMCAPTCHA #006 from blackmoth on Vimeo.
Video: Dreamcaptcha #006, 2008

Kari Altmann is a Baltimore-based artist who initiated the collaborative project Netmares and Netdreams. She agreed to do an interview ahead of the project's residency on Sunday March 15th at Capricious Space in Brooklyn as part of the program In Real Life. - Brian Droitcour

Netmares and Netdreams is going to be featured "in real life" at Capricious Space in Brooklyn. How is this going to be different from the first incarnation of Version 3.0, at Current Gallery in Baltimore? What were some of the challenges you encountered when displaying an online project in physical space?

The opportunity to do version 3.0 of the show arose very suddenly. Current gave us just two weeks to put everything together. But I knew that if we didn't accept that challenge, we might never do the show at all. It wasn't ideal, but it was also perfect luck, because it needed to happen in a space like Current while we had some momentum. We just said yes and pushed through the limitations, which is how we do a lot of things.

Some netdreamers were confronted with the question of how to present things offline for the first time, and they needed to experiment with the options. We didn't have computers for the show, which I was okay with, but we also had zero budget and very limited gear. We wanted to make it the most “real” show we could without all the resources. A lot of things ended up as prints or videos. We debated over whether or not certain pieces still functioned in the way they were presented. If someone didn’t answer an email or send their piece in time, it would affect the way everything ...

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Interview with Goldin+Senneby

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"The boys from Sweden are not really interested in Kate's habits, her lifestyle, the clothes she wears; they're interested in Headless Ltd., a company they want to know more about. And they're interested in a book which they think Kate is writing about them, a book called Looking for Headless."

These lines are from the first chapter of Looking for Headless, a serial novel that artists Goldin+Senneby commissioned from author K.D. The chapter was originally published as the work of Kate Dent, an employee at the offshore consultancy Sovereign Trust, but Goldin+Senneby retracted their claim about the author's identity after some prodding from Sovereign's lawyers. By chapter three, the legal confrontation had already become part of the story, and the lawyers' communication was just another of the many real-world facts woven into the fabric of the novel.

Goldin+Senneby's project Headless (2007-ongoing) uses the idea of investigating the Bahamas-based company Headless Ltd as the basis for a wide-ranging study of how events are remembered, created, and communicated in the production of narrative. The seedy glamour of offshore finance provides an effective context; it is fertile for plots of mystery and intrigue, and the huge sums of virtual money floating offshore make an apt metaphor for the symbols and ideas that compel people to action and set events in motion. Goldin+Senneby further extend the financial trope by adopting corporate practices to make Headless, outsourcing the project's many texts, events, and performances to specialists. For their exhibition at the Power Plant in Toronto, on view through February 22, Goldin+Senneby commissioned documentary filmmakers to interview an investigative journalist about how to make a documentary about investigating Headless Ltd. They also hired a curator and a set designer to devise a didactic display introducing viewers to the characters of the novel Looking for Headless.

A system as rich and recursive as Headless simultaneously generates both questions and answers to them. In previous interviews the artists have responded to questions about the project exclusively in the form of quotes from its various parts. For the interview below, however, they produced some new statements, perhaps mindful of the opportunity to recycle them in future incarnations of Headless. - Brian Droitcour

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Media Parasol

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Interview with Perry Bard from tagr.tv (Screengrab)

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Interview with Petko Dourmana from tagr.tv (Screengrab)

The online platform for media art festival documentation (yes, one exists!) tagr.tv took a rather unconventional tack in their coverage of Berlin's transmediale last week. The team shot a number of interviews using their own "mobile interview environment." The device, an umbrella outfitted with a camera and microphone, served as a nearly private location for one-on-one discussions with artists involved with the festival. The short clips are interspersed with more traditional installation shots, providing a unique "overview" (get it?) of select projects showcased during transmediale. (On a related note, be sure to check out transmediale's comprehensive streaming video archive from the 2009 session as well.)

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